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Sunday, June 19, 2016

How Christians Should React to Hate Crimes

Hate Crimes, Christian Response, homosexuality
Christians should be disturbed by hate crimes.

4 Things to Remember:

1. Murder is a sin (Exodus 20:13). (1)

2. Hatred is a sin. 

We're called to hate the sin while offering God's love and truth to the sinner (Luke 6:31;Jude 1:22-23).(2) 

3. The world often misrepresents Christians as hateful (Matthew 10:22).

Groups calling themselves "Christian" may speak up in support of hate crimes because Satan loves to misrepresent Biblical values. But genuine Believers know we can't love God and hate people (1 John 4:20Matthew 7:12). 

4. We mustn't water down God's teaching because of hate

Sometimes Christians recoil when hate crimes hit the news, and they back away from clear Biblical teachings. However, if God says sins like homosexuality damage people's souls, it's a hate crime to keep silent about them (Luke 9:26; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-13).(3) 

Keeping these things in mind, we should speak up against hate crimes and pray for those involved.
(1) Most translations of the Bible accurately translate the Sixth Commandment "You shall not murder" not "You shall not kill" (Exodus 20:13). Old Testament laws prescribed execution of criminals and calls to war, but never murder.  And the New Testament commands obedience to government laws unless they violate Scripture (Titus 3:1). See "Why Did God Destroy Entire Nations?" and "Little Things Matter". 
(2) See "Hate Crimes" 
(3) See "Hard Teaching"
Bible Study

1. These two passages together give clarity to this subject. 

While the Scripture in 1 John might lead someone to think that we only need to love Christian brothers and sisters, the passage in Luke makes it clear that we have a responsibility to treat all men as we would want to be treated in a similar situation. This isn't about approval, affection or fondness of the other person. It's about humane treatment.

1 John 4:20: Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 

Matthew 7:12: Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. 

2. What does the passage below tell us about our attitude toward sin and sinner?

Jude 22-23: And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.
copyright 2016, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

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